Friday, July 29, 2016

The Polish-Soviet War

The Polish–Soviet War (February 1919 – March 1921) was an armed conflict that pitted Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine against the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic over the control of an area equivalent to today's Ukraine and parts of modern-day Belarus. Ultimately the Soviets, following on from their Westward Offensive of 1918–19, hoped to fully occupy Poland, and at some point in the war this appeared possible.

Although united under communist leadership, Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine were theoretically two separate independent entities since the Soviet republics did not unite into the Soviet Union until 1922.

Poland's Chief of State, Józef Piłsudski, felt the time was right to expand Polish borders as far east as feasible, to be followed by a Polish-led Intermarium Federation of East-Central European states as a bulwark against the re-emergence of German and Russian imperialisms. Lenin, meanwhile, saw Poland as the bridge the Red Army had to cross to assist other communist movements and bring about other European revolutions. By 1919, Polish forces had taken control of much of Western Ukraine, emerging victorious from the Polish–Ukrainian War. The West Ukrainian People's Republic, led by Yevhen Petrushevych, had tried to create a Ukrainian state on territories to which both Poles and Ukrainians laid claim. At the same time in the Russian part of Ukraine Symon Petliura tried to defend and strengthen the Ukrainian People's Republic, but as the Bolsheviks began to gain the upper hand in the Russian Civil War, they started to advance westward towards the disputed Ukrainian territories, causing Petliura's forces to retreat to Podolia. By the end of 1919, a clear front had formed as Petliura decided to ally with Piłsudski. Border skirmishes escalated following Piłsudski's Kiev Offensive in April 1920. The Polish offensive was met by an initially successful Red Army counterattack. The Soviet operation threw the Polish forces back westward all the way to the Polish capital, Warsaw, while the Directorate of Ukraine fled to Western Europe. Meanwhile, Western fears of Soviet troops arriving at the German frontiers increased the interest of Western powers in the war. In midsummer, the fall of Warsaw seemed certain but in mid-August, the tide had turned again, as the Polish forces achieved an unexpected and decisive victory at the Battle of Warsaw. In the wake of the Polish advance eastward, the Soviets sued for peace and the war ended with a ceasefire in October 1920.

A formal peace treaty, the Peace of Riga, was signed on 18 March 1921, dividing the disputed territories between Poland and Soviet Russia. The war largely determined the Soviet–Polish border for the period between the World Wars. Much of the territory allocated to Poland in the Treaty of Riga became part of the Soviet Union after World War II, when Poland's eastern borders were redefined by the Allies in close accordance with the Curzon Line of 1920.

Historical Assessment

Despite the final retreat of Russian forces and annihilation of their three field armies, historians do not universally agree on the question of victory. The Poles claimed a successful defense of their state, while the Soviets claimed a repulse of the Polish eastward invasion of Ukraine and Belarus, which they viewed as a part of the foreign intervention in the Russian Civil War. The British military historian and general J.F.C. Fuller ranks the battle of Warsaw in 1920, and the Polish victory in the war, as one of the most decisive victories in history since it prevented Soviet influence from spreading to the borders of Germany, Hungary and Romania at a critical stage in these countries.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

July 2016 Turkish Purge

In July 2016, the government of Turkey began a purge against members of its own civil and military service in reaction to a failed coup d'état that occurred that same month. The purge focused mainly on public servants and soldiers alleged to be part of the Gülen movement—the group the government blamed for the coup.

Tens of thousands of public servants and soldiers were purged in the first week following the coup. For example, on 16 July 2016, just one day after the coup was foiled, 2,745 judges were dismissed and detained. This was followed by the dismissal, detention or suspension of about 50,000 officials.

The government declared a state of emergency and temporarily suspended its compliance to the European Convention on Human Rights—an international treaty ratified by Turkey that protects human rights and fundamental freedoms. As a reaction to these developments, Amnesty International called for the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture to make an emergency visit to Turkey to observe the conditions in which the detainees were held. Human rights groups criticized the treatment of prisoners, which included the denial of food, water, medical treatment, and contact with family and lawyers, as well as rape and torture. One notable event was the beating of three hundred soldiers detained in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

The purges were criticized by both national and international commentators. Can Dündar, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, for example, described the event as "the biggest witch-hunt in Turkey's history", and both US President Barack Obama and EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said that the purges and torture represented a setback for human rights in Turkey.


In 2005, a man affiliated with the Gülen movement approached then-U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Eric S. Edelman during a party in Istanbul, and handed him an envelope containing a document supposedly detailing plans for an imminent coup against the government by the Turkish military. However, the documents were found to be forgeries by his colleagues. Gülen affiliates claim the movement is "civic" in nature and that it does not have political aspirations.

In January 2014, during a major corruption enquiry in Turkey, 96 judges and prosecutors, including the chief prosecutor of Izmir, Huseyin Bas, were transferred to new locations, causing investigations into corruption to cease. Bas was transferred to Samsun. Altogether 120 judges and prosecutors were reassigned. At the time, The Daily Telegraph described the events as "the biggest purge of the judiciary in [Turkey's] history". From 2014 to mid-2016, repeated purges of civilian, military and judicial officials took place in Turkey, mainly aimed at followers of Fethullah Gülen, a former colleague of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Sectors Affected

In the wake of the coup attempt's failure, during the first post-coup speech Erdoğan could address to the nation upon landing at Atatürk airport, he called the coup a "gift of God" as it would allow him to "cleanse" the army of the Gülen "virus" and create a "new Turkey".

An extensive purge of the Turkish civil service began in the wake of the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt, with President Erdoğan warning his opponents that "they will pay a heavy price for this." The New York Times described the purges as a "counter-coup" and expected the president to "become more vengeful and obsessed with control than ever, exploiting the crisis not just to punish mutinous soldiers but to further quash whatever dissent is left in Turkey".

On 18 July, U.S. State Secretary John Kerry urged Turkish authorities to halt the increasing crackdown on its citizens, indicating that the crackdown was meant to "suppress dissent". French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault voiced concern, warning against a "political system which turns away from democracy" in response to the purges.

The United Nations have been accused of being thus far unresponsive against purges that have involved large numbers of people from a variety of social ranks, while at the same time also failing to condemn the coup and resulting violence due to Egypt's veto against a resolution in that direction.


Can Dündar, Editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, described the purges as part of a historical pattern of political power in Turkey shifting back and forth between the secular military versus religious institutions, with democrats in the middle having little power to prevent the repeated oscillations, but worse than previous cycles. He described the 2016 purges as "the biggest witch-hunt in Turkey's history". Historians and analysts including Henri J. Barkey, Director of the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, compared the 2016 Turkish purges to Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution that started in 1966 and the Iranian Cultural Revolution in which Iranian academia was purged during 1980–1987.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Eukaryotes Rule

A eukaryote is any organism whose cells contain a nucleus and other organelles enclosed within membranes.

Eukaryotes belong to the taxon Eukarya or Eukaryota. The defining feature that sets eukaryotic cells apart from prokaryotic cells (Bacteria and Archaea) is that they have membrane-bound organelles, especially the nucleus, which contains the genetic material, and is enclosed by the nuclear envelope. The presence of a nucleus gives eukaryotes their name, which comes from the Greek εὖ (eu, "well") and κάρυον (karyon, "nut" or "kernel"). Eukaryotic cells also contain other membrane-bound organelles such as mitochondria and the Golgi apparatus. In addition, plants and algae contain chloroplasts. Eukaryotic organisms may be unicellular, or multicellular.  Only eukaryotes have multicellular organisms consisting of many kinds of tissue made up of different cell types.

Eukaryotes can reproduce both asexually through mitosis and sexually through meiosis and gamete fusion. In mitosis, one cell divides to produce two genetically identical cells. In meiosis, DNA replication is followed by two rounds of cell division to produce four daughter cells each with half the number of chromosomes as the original parent cell (haploid cells). These act as sex cells (gametes – each gamete has just one complement of chromosomes, each a unique mix of the corresponding pair of parental chromosomes) resulting from genetic recombination during meiosis.

The domain Eukaryota appears to be monophyletic, and so makes up one of the three domains of life. The two other domains, Bacteria and Archaea, are prokaryotes and have none of the above features. Eukaryotes represent a tiny minority of all living things. However, due to their much larger size, eukaryotes' collective worldwide biomass is estimated at about equal to that of prokaryotes. Eukaryotes first developed approximately 1.6–2.1 billion years ago.

Origin of Eukaryotes

Eukaryotes are more closely related to Archaea than Bacteria, at least in terms of nuclear DNA and genetic machinery, and one controversial idea is to place them with Archaea in the clade Neomura. However, in other respects, such as membrane composition, eukaryotes are similar to Bacteria. Three main explanations for this have been proposed:

  • Eukaryotes resulted from the complete fusion of two or more cells, wherein the cytoplasm formed from a eubacterium, and the nucleus from an archaeon, from a virus, or from a pre-cell.
  • Eukaryotes developed from Archaea, and acquired their eubacterial characteristics from the proto-mitochondrion.
  • Eukaryotes and Archaea developed separately from a modified eubacterium.

The chronocyte hypothesis for the origin of the eukaryotic cell postulates that a primitive eukaryotic cell was formed by the endosymbiosis of both archaea and bacteria by a third type of cell, termed a chronocyte.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Alienated Hillbillies Are Real

Hillbilly Elegy may be the best book every written by a hillbilly about hillbillies.

From the back cover of  the book:

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class through the author’s own story of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of poor, white Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for over forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. In Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hanging around your neck.

The Vance family story began with hope in postwar America. J.D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

Amazon Customer Review
5 Stars
By Jill Meyer, June 30, 2016

J D Vance is a hillbilly. He comes from a long line of hillbillies and although he grew up in Middletown, Ohio, his roots are in Kentucky "hollers" that are as close to Middletown as Route 23 can make them. He grew up as the son of a mother who has suffered from addiction most of her life, and his life - and that of his sister - were largely dependent on the love and care they received from their maternal grandparents. He was the first of his extended family to graduate from college, and then went on to earn a law degree from Yale University. He was also a Marine for four years of active service. Where did this hillbilly go right? And what can his success mean for others born and raised in a difficult atmosphere of drugs, fighting, and unemployment? You'll have to read his memoir, "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis" to gain a perspective on what it's like to grow up white and disadvantaged.

J.D. Vance wears the self-described Scots-Irish hillbilly title with both pride and defensiveness. Descended from a long line of Kentucky miners who eked out livings in the hollers of the state, his family was filled with prideful people quick to anger and quick to take offense at what others said. A quality of hot-headedness certainly makes decisions difficult to make and carry out. Many of these people saw economic advantages in the northern states and many settled in southern Ohio after WW2. But along with themselves, they carried the culture they grew up with in Kentucky. J.D.'s own family had a redeeming feature: the love and steadiness of his maternal grandparents, "Mamaw" and "Papaw". Although they were hot-headed people themselves, they had a deep love of their children and grandchildren that made them offer a sense of protection to J.D. and his older sister in the years when their mother was bouncing from husband to husband, drug to drug,city to city, bad decision to bad decision... He doesn't gloss over his own mistakes, either.

Along with talking about his own successful lifting from his own background, he writes about how society can - possibly - help those who are trapped in the same society he was. Although Vance is only 32, he writes beautifully about himself...and the other "himselves" in society.



Monday, July 25, 2016

Aristotle's List of Virtues

Moral Virtues

1. Courage in the face of fear

2. Temperance in the face of pleasure and pain

3. Liberality with wealth and possessions

4. Magnificence with great wealth and possessions

5. Magnanimity with great honors

6. Proper ambition with normal honors

7. Patience in the face of irritation

8. Truthfulness with self-expression

9. Wittiness in conversation

10. Friendliness in social conduct

11. Modesty in the face of shame or shamelessness

12. Righteous indignation in the face of injury

Intellectual Virtues

  1. Nous (intelligence), which apprehends fundamental truths (such as definitions, self-evident principles)
  2. Episteme (science), which is skill with inferential reasoning (such as proofs, syllogisms, demonstrations)
  3. Sophia (theoretical wisdom), which combines fundamental truths with valid, necessary inferences to reason well about unchanging truths.

Aristotle also mentions several other traits:

  • Gnome (good sense) -- passing judgment, "sympathetic understanding"
  • Synesis (understanding) -- comprehending what others say, does not issue commands
  • Phronesis (practical wisdom) -- knowledge of what to do, knowledge of changing truths, issues commands
  • Techne (art, craftsmanship)

Aristotle's list is not the only list, however. As Alasdair MacIntyre observed in After Virtue, thinkers as diverse as Homer, Aristotle, the authors of the New Testament, Thomas Aquinas, and Benjamin Franklin have all proposed lists.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Toughest Implant Alloy

July 22, 2016 -- A super-hard metal has been made in the laboratory by melting together titanium and gold.
The alloy is the hardest known metallic substance compatible with living tissues, say US physicists.
The material is four times harder than pure titanium and has applications in making longer-lasting medical implants, they say.
Conventional knee and hip implants have to be replaced after about 10 years due to wear and tear.
Details of the new metal - an alloy of gold and titanium - are revealed in the journal, Science Advances.
Prof Emilia Morosan, of Rice University, Houston, said her team had made the discovery while working on unconventional magnets made from titanium and gold.
The new materials needed to be made into powders to check their purity, but beta-Ti3Au, as it is known, was too tough to be ground in a diamond-coated mortar and pestle.
The material "showed the highest hardness of all Ti-Au [titanium-gold] alloys and compounds, but also compared to many other engineering alloys", said Prof Morosan.
She said the hardness of the substance, together with its higher biocompatibility, made it a "next generation compound for substantively extending the lifetime of dental implants and replacement joints".
It may also have applications in the drilling industry, the sporting goods industry and many other potential fields, she added.
The gold-titanium alloy is a cubic compound with a particular arrangement of atoms found when metals are combined at high temperatures.

Titanium is one of the few metals that human bone is able to grow around firmly, allowing it to be used widely in medicine and dentistry.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Powerful Liquid Battery

A Battery Inspired by Vitamins
Research opens a ‘new universe’ of organic
molecules that can store energy in flow batteries  
By Leah Burrows, Harvard

July 18, 2016 -- A new class of high-performing organic molecules, inspired by vitamin B2, that can safely store electricity from intermittent energy sources like solar and wind power in flow batteries, like the one above. (Image courtesy of Kaixiang Lin/Harvard University)

Harvard researchers have identified a whole new class of high-performing organic molecules, inspired by vitamin B2, that can safely store electricity from intermittent energy sources like solar and wind power in large batteries.

The development builds on previous work in which the team developed a high-capacity flow battery that stored energy in organic molecules called quinones and a food additive called ferrocyanide. That advance was a game-changer, delivering the first high-performance, non-flammable, non-toxic, non-corrosive, and low-cost chemicals that could enable large-scale, inexpensive electricity storage.

While the versatile quinones show great promise for flow batteries, Harvard researchers continued to explore other organic molecules in pursuit of even better performance. But finding that same versatility in other organic systems has been challenging.

“Now, after considering about a million different quinones, we have developed a new class of battery electrolyte material that expands the possibilities of what we can do,” said Kaixiang Lin, a Ph.D. student at Harvard and first author of the paper. “Its simple synthesis means it should be manufacturable on a large scale at a very low cost, which is an important goal of this project.”

The new research is published in Nature Energy.

Flow batteries store energy in solutions in external tanks — the bigger the tanks, the more energy they store. In 2014, Michael J. Aziz, the Gene and Tracy Sykes Professor of Materials and Energy Technologies at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Scienes (SEAS), Roy Gordon, the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science, Alan Aspuru Guzik, Professor of Chemistry and their team at Harvard replaced metal ions used as conventional battery electrolyte materials in acidic electrolytes with quinones, molecules that store energy in plants and animals. In 2015, they developed a quinone that could work in alkaline solutions alongside a common food additive.


In this most recent research, the team found inspiration in vitamin B2, which helps to store energy from food in the body. The key difference between B2 and quinones is that nitrogen atoms, instead of oxygen atoms, are involved in picking up and giving off electrons.

“With only a couple of tweaks to the original B2 molecule, this new group of molecules becomes a good candidate for alkaline flow batteries,” said Aziz. “They have high stability and solubility and provide high battery voltage and storage capacity. Because vitamins are remarkably easy to make, this molecule could be manufactured on a large scale at a very low cost.”

“We designed these molecules to suit the needs of our battery, but really it was nature that hinted at this way to store energy,” said Gordon, co-senior author of the paper. “Nature came up with similar molecules that are very important in storing energy in our bodies.”

The team will continue to explore quinones, as well as this new universe of molecules, in pursuit of a high-performing, long-lasting and inexpensive flow battery.

Harvard’s Office of Technology Development has been working closely with the research team to navigate the shifting complexities of the energy storage market and build relationships with companies well positioned to commercialize the new chemistries.

The paper was authored by Lin, Aziz, Gordon, Aspuru-Guzik, Rafael Gómez-Bombarelli, Eugene S. Beh, Liuchuan Tong, Qing Chen, and Alvaro Valle.

The research was supported by the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center and the National Science Foundation.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Free Will Mapped in Human Brain

What Free Will looks Like in the Brain
By Jill Rosen, July 13, 2016

Johns Hopkins University researchers are the first to glimpse the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act.

Unlike most brain studies where scientists watch as people respond to cues or commands, Johns Hopkins researchers found a way to observe people’s brain activity as they made choices entirely on their own. The findings, which pinpoint the parts of the brain involved in decision-making and action, are now online, and due to appear in a special October issue of the journal Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.

“How do we peek into people’s brains and find out how we make choices entirely on our own?” asked Susan Courtney, a professor of psychological and brain sciences. “What parts of the brain are involved in free choice?”

The team devised a novel experiment to track a person’s focus of attention without using intrusive cues or commands. Participants, positioned in MRI scanners, were left alone to watch a split screen as rapid streams of colorful numbers and letters scrolled past on each side. They were asked simply to pay attention to one side for a while, then to the other side — when to switch sides was entirely up to them. Over an hour, the participants switched their attention from one side to the other dozens of times.

Researchers monitored the participants’ brains as they watched the media stream, both before and after they switched their focus.

For the first time, researchers were able to see both what happens in a human brain the moment a free choice is made, and what happens during the lead-up to that decision — how the brain behaves during the deliberation to act.

The actual switching of attention from one side to the other was closely linked to activity in the parietal lobe, near the back of the brain. The activity leading up to the choice — that is, the period of deliberation — occurred in the frontal cortex, in areas involved in reasoning and movement, and in the basal ganglia, regions deep within the brain that are responsible for a variety of motor control functions including the ability to start an action. The frontal-lobe activity began earlier than it would if participants were told to shift attention, clearly demonstrating that the brain was preparing a purely voluntary action rather than merely following an order.

Together, the two brain regions make up the core components underlying the will to act, the authors concluded.

“What’s truly remarkable about this project,” said Leon Gmeindl, a research scientist at Johns Hopkins and lead author of the study, “is that by devising a way to detect brain events that are otherwise invisible — that is, a kind of high-tech ‘mind reading’ — we uncovered important information about what may be the neural underpinnings of volition, or free will.”

Now that scientists have a way to track choices made from free will, they can use the technique to determine what’s happening in the brain as people wrestle with other, more complex decisions. For instance, researchers could observe the brain as someone tried to decide between snacking on a doughnut or an apple — watching as someone weighed short-term rewards over long-term rewards, perhaps being able to pinpoint the tipping point between the two.

“We now have the ability to learn more about how we make decisions in the real world,” Courtney said.

The research team also included former Johns Hopkins doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows Yu-Chin Chiu, Michael S. Esterman, and Adam S. Greenberg.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Appeasement Courts War

Appeasement in a political context is a diplomatic policy of making political or material concessions to an enemy power in order to avoid conflict.

The term is most often applied to the foreign policy of the British Prime Ministers Ramsay Macdonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain towards Nazi Germany between 1935 and 1939, although Pierre Laval, the French foreign minister, also sought to avoid war "by arrangements with the Dictators of Italy and Germany.". Their policies have been the subject of intense debate for more than seventy years among academics, politicians and diplomats. The historians' assessments have ranged from condemnation for allowing Adolf Hitler's Germany to grow too strong, to the judgment that they had no alternative and acted in their country's best interests. At the time, these concessions were widely seen as positive, and the Munich Pact concluded on 30 September 1938 among Germany, Britain, France, and Italy prompted Chamberlain to announce that he had secured "peace for our time."

The Failure of Collective Security

Chamberlain's policy of appeasement emerged from the failure of the League of Nations and the failure of collective security. The League of Nations was set up in the aftermath of World War I in the hope that international cooperation and collective resistance to aggression might prevent another war. Members of the League were entitled to the assistance of other members if they came under attack. The policy of collective security ran in parallel with measures to achieve international disarmament and where possible was to be based on economic sanctions against an aggressor. It appeared to be ineffectual when confronted by the aggression of dictators, notably Germany's Remilitarization of the Rhineland, and Italian leader Benito Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia.

Invasion of Manchuria

In September 1931, Japan, a member of the League of Nations, invaded northeast China, claiming it as not only Chinese but a multiple ethnic "Manchuria" region. China appealed to the League and the United States for assistance. The Council of the League asked the parties to withdraw to their original positions to permit a peaceful settlement. The United States reminded them of their duty under the Kellogg-Briand Pact to settle matters peacefully. Japan was undeterred and went on to occupy the whole of Manchuria. The League set up a commission of inquiry that condemned Japan, the League duly adopting the report in February 1933. Japan resigned from the League and continued its advance into China. Neither the League nor the United States took any action. "Their inactivity and ineffectualness in the Far East lent every encouragement to European aggressors who planned similar acts of defiance."  However the U.S. issued the Stimson Doctrine and refused to recognize Japan's conquest, which played a role in shifting U.S. policy to favor China over Japan late in the 1930s.

'Germany and Europe'

... My dream is of a British statesman who could say to his countrymen: "You are sick of war, weary of entanglements. There are some who would have you renounce both. I offer you instead a heavier load of foreign responsibilities, a risk of new war. Because that is the only road to lasting peace. Since the War, British policy has been shuffling, timid, ignoble. Be bold at last, and give a lead to Europe, by offering to form with France and whatever other European states will join, a League within the League, of nations pledged to submit all disputes to the League, but pledged also to fight without hesitation in defence of any member of the group who is attacked. If Germany will join, so much the better; though Germany as she is never will. If America, better still; for the present America is a broken reed. All the more honor for us to accept a responsibility if she refuses.

"The way will not be easy. We shall often regret the day we pledged ourselves to bear taxation in peace and face death in war for interests and frontiers not our own. But no interest is more really our own than the reign of law between nations."

That is little likely to happen. Only an Abraham Lincoln takes risks of that sort with a nation. But this is not because the ordinary politician is wiser; it is because the ordinary politician does not realize the latent force of idealism, all the stronger with the decay of the religions which gave it other outlets, ready in the world of to-day for any leader with the courage to use it; and so easily abused accordingly by the rulers of Moscow and Berlin.

     -- [From a letter by F. L. Lucas of King's College, Cambridge, British anti-appeasement campaigner, to The Week-end Review, 21 October 1933]

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why a stagnant economy? "Politicians"

Here's how modern politicians, specifically including the present administration, sold us (and the g7) to long-term stagnation.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Humans May Never Travel to Stars

No, Humans Will Never Achieve Interstellar Travel
By Dan Holliday
For Some Reason, this seems to bother people

This post originally appeared on QuoraWill humans achieve interstellar travel?

NO. Never. Not ever, even 100 quadrillion years from now. Never. Clearly, what follows is just my highly speculative opinion. It seems to bother people. Some call it pessimistic. Some call it overly optimistic. Whatever. Just my thought.
Should our species remain extant for the next thousand years —meaning we don’t kill ourselves with bio-engineered plagues, or Yellowstone doesn’t erupt and kill us all, or a KT-like impact doesn’t happen— we will eventually cease being “human” in a few centuries.
Centuries? Not millions of years?
Yes. Provided that we continue (a) existing and (b) advancing in technology, by the middle of this century, we will have access to our entire genome, nano-technology (or at the very least, micro-robotics) and AI. Those technologies, if we try really hard to extrapolate their logical course, mean that at some point in the next few centuries, there will be no more homo sapiens. Perhaps a few “museum humans” will choose to remain in their old form, but those beings will live on Earth or space stations, too frail and ephemeral; too needy to package into dense vessels for interstellar travel.
If our descendants survive, they will adjust their genome. Maybe it won’t become prosaic until 2125, but at some point very soon, the temptation to remove all “negative” traits will be overwhelming. The temptation to enhance with some genetic coding from other beasts will become overwhelming. The temptation to enhance with artificial bits—that connect us to instant information, right to the brain— will be overwhelming. The temptation to create new biological features un-imagined by “Mother Nature” wholly invented by us and our super-advanced computer technology (maybe a new cell wall, completely re-engineered mitochondria, or a cell part that we cannot imagine today) will become overwhelming.
At some point, after sufficient changes, we won’t be human any longer. We certainly won’t be homo sapiens. We’ll be something else…IF “we” survive that long and continue advancing technologically. A global disaster could destroy our civilization but leave a few hundred thousand of us thrown back the equivalent of five millennia. But if we survive and continue advancing, then homo sapiens is done in a few centuries at the longest; a century at the shortest.
At some point in time, the advancing technology will unlock self-assembling, self-making robotics that leverage exponential growth that will either be our end or our elevation to the pinnacle of abilities in this cosmos. With lives extended to the many millennia, with intelligences in VR and AI’s meandering about the solar system, “time” won’t have the same cachet as it does today. A journey at .01c, taking 1,000–1,500 years to cross the gulf between stars will be meaningless in the lives of those beings — beings that are effectively immortal who see time as a non-obstacle.
Those beings, if they end up coming into existence, will achieve interstellar travel. Not us. Not humans. Never homo sapiens, but them.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Stock Market at Tipping Point?

Has a Stock Market Melt-Up Begun for a Stock Market Crash in 2016?
By David Haggith, July 15, 2016

Melt-ups precede a major stock market crash, and by all appearances we may be in a melt-up right now that could cause a stock market crash in 2016. First, a small bit of euphoria kicked up permabull adrenaline in the US market when Brexit didn’t make the American sky fall overnight. At the same time, central banks scurried to buy stocks all over the world just to make sure markets didn’t crash. Then the world’s oldest banks began to topple in Europe, causing European money to flee into American stocks. (These banks had been falling a long time already, but now they started begging for bailouts.)

Then investors who shorted the market got scared to death because the stock market broke a nineteen-month ceiling, which had endured as if it were made of marble. So, the market shorters started to buy the stocks they had committed to now in order to close their positions quickly before the prices went up any higher. That created a massive short squeeze, which happens when a large number of investors who have shorted the market start buying the stocks they’ve committed to. That explodes demand, which drives stock prices up even faster, causing more investors to rapidly run for the exits of their short positions. In a short squeeze, investors accept huge losses in order to close out their bets before they lose even more money.

When Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest asset manager, announced Blackrock beat expectations for the second quarter, he summarized this week’s ceiling-breaking market as follows:

According to Fink, the recent rally has been supported by institutional investors covering shorts. “Since Brexit, we’ve seen ETF flows almost at record levels … $18 billion of inflows,” Fink said. What that tells you is retail investors are pulling out, he said. “You’re seeing institutions who were short going into Brexit … all now rushing in to recalibrate their portfolios.” Another curious fund flow: the ongoing rush into dividend plays. Fink said he’s been seeing huge inflows in fixed-income products. “So you’re seeing a risk-off trade, as we call it, around the world.” Fink also confirmed … that the true force behind the recent surge is a familiar one: central banks. Fink said extraordinary central bank asset purchases has been inflating stocks prices. (Zero Hedge)

That $18-billion dollar frenzy has the permabull speculators pawing the ground again and all the algorithms of the electro-speculators charged up and humming. Thus, the market perpetuates an all-out feeding frenzy. Very little of this flurry of buying is based on the economy. It is based on emotions causing actions, which cause more emotions that cause other actions. That’s why a “stock market melt-up” leads to the worst crashes in the history of the world.

This could be the final roundup of the bulls that corrals them into a 2016 stock market crash

A stock market melt-up always ends badly just like a Ponzi scheme. The market over-revs as everyone expects the other players to keep bidding the market up in scuffle to the top, until someone stops to take a breath, looks at the extraordinary height, says “Oh, my …” loses his grip in fear and falls. Suddenly other investors start doing the reverse of what they did before, making large panic moves to get out the way before the others fall. The pyramid that was balancing on its point all begins to crumble.

As Jim Quinn just wrote,

Lance Roberts, someone whose opinion I respect, reluctantly agrees we could see a market melt up:

“Wave 5, ‘market melt-ups’ are the last bastion of hope for the ‘always bullish.’ Unlike, the previous advances that were backed by improving earnings and economic growth, the final wave is pure emotion and speculation based on ‘hopes’ of a quick fundamental recovery to justify market overvaluations. Such environments have always had rather disastrous endings and this time, will likely be no different.”

…Short-term traders can make immediate profits using momentum techniques, following the herd, and picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. Remember your brother-in-law who was getting rich day trading stocks in 1999? Remember your cousin who was getting rich flipping houses in 2005? … There are always profits to be made for awhile. Then the bottom drops out, because fundamentals, cash flow, valuations, and reality matter in the long run.

This year I’ve read a number of analysts saying the stock market is not about to crash because the all-out euphoria that drives a market far above economic reality just before a major crash (the kind of crash that can wipe out 50-60% of the market’s total value) isn’t happening. Well, this may be it. We’ve had little bursts of euphoria, but this could be the Big One — the final roundup of the bulls. Central Banks with their know-all policies for crowding the market upward may have just herded the bulls all into the corral for slaughter.

Economic collapses and stock market crashes are not synonymous

When I predicted the economy would now go into the second leg of the Epocalypse, that doesn’t have to mean the US stock market will crash in 2016. My latest article on the developing Epocalypse did not predict another market plunge like we saw in January. (I count January as a crash of sorts in that it was the worst start of any year in the New York Stock Exchange’s history — so that’s a significant landmark at the start of a year of great economic decline around the world — but it was not followed by the pattern of stock market rallies and drops that I said I expected.)

Many people think of stock markets and the economies they are based in as synonymous because people are accustomed to gauging the economy by how the market is doing. So, when you say, “the economy is going to collapse,” they think stock market crash. So, just to be clear, that’s not what I’ve said will now happen.

Usually stock markets and their national economies do track together. However, most stock markets of late have not tracked their national economies for a long time, especially in the US. The US stock market has even run contrary to the US economy much of the time. It has tracked the Federal Reserve because speculators followed the money — the big money, the infinite money that can be created at will. But that only means the market has almost no economic support. It’s rising on hot air.

The Fed created money to be poured into the stock market (“front-running the market,” as Richard Fisher, one of the Fed’s board members said). If the economic news was bad, speculators drove the market up because a bad economy meant meant a shipload of new money from the Fed was on the way. The Wells Fargo wagon was coming!

The Epocalypse is an economic catastrophe that is unfolding in months that will get worse and worse. I noted in my last article about the Epocalypse that stocks were falling (particularly in Europe and particularly banking stocks) because crashing stock markets typically create economic catastrophe all by themselves, particularly if they focus on the banking industry as in 1929 and 2008 because then stocks and banks fail at the same time in a one-two, knock-out punch.

Even here, I’m not predicting a stock market crash for 2016. All the economies of the world are going down whether the US stock market crashes or not. In fact, I’m sure the US will be the last to fall. I’m pointing out that it appears the bulls may be making their final stampede at last. If the current market rally is an emotional melt-up — as it appears to me — then a massive US stock market crash in not far off because melt-ups are just emotional eruptions with almost nothing for support in the economy that should be the market’s foundation. Without support, the floor of the once-swelling caldera collapses into the receding magma chamber beneath.

In buying up stocks to “save us all from Brexit,” central banks may have unintentionally cued up the next big stock market crash by triggering a feeding frenzy. A person can make big money on the ramp up (as Lance Roberts and Quinn note), as many do, but it’s a dangerous gamble because you never know at what point investors will think too many jinga pieces have been removed and start to panic.

One reason I cannot predict a stock market crash for 2016 is that central banks can create infinite amounts of money. Now that fronting money for the market has practically become their standard play, who knows to what extent they will buy up the slack through their member banks, should investors start to flee, by creating fiat money in the reserve accounts of those banks (QE4)?

Janet Yellen certainly doesn’t want Trump to win the election now that he’s said job one is to fire her. Therefore, the Fed will pump any amount of steroids into the market by any vein it can find in order to keep Trump from proving right about a failing economy. They know that a falling market will be seen as proof of a failing economy by most people and that a falling market can create a failing economy. A fourth round of quantitative easing wouldn’t likely have an affect that would last long, but it could get enough lift for a couple of months to carry us through the election cycle. Federal Reserve board members are also now talking openly about “helicopter money.”

I’m not sure the Fed can save the market if it has already created a melt-up, but there is no way of knowing how much money the central banks will create or where they’ll invest it. Such a major unknowable can scuttle any prediction.

We do know from observation, though, that the more the Fed does to centrally manipulate the economy through the stock market and bond markets, the worse mess it makes of the economy overall. Honest price discovery, as David Stockman is always pointing out, has been blown to pieces for so long that no one knows what the real value of anything is because values throughout all markets have been carried aloft for years by the Fed’s hot-air of rapidly rising money supply. It’s a hot-air balloon ride into the unknown. The balloon is rising faster right now, but the flame that is lifting it may be its own burning fabric at the bottom, and that could become a melt-up of the whole balloon.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Reuters News Agency

Reuters (pronounced “rɔɪtərz” not “rooters”) is an international news agency headquartered in Canary Wharf, London, England, United Kingdom and is a division of Thomson Reuters.

Until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, the Reuters news agency has been a part of Thomson Reuters, making up the media division. Reuters transmits news in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Urdu, and Chinese

                                                 Reuters Building, Canary Wharf, London


The Reuter agency was established in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter in Britain at the London Royal Exchange. Paul Reuter worked at a book-publishing firm in Berlin and was involved in distributing radical pamphlets at the beginning of the Revolutions in 1848. These publications brought much attention to Reuter. He later developed a prototype news service in 1849 in which he used electric telegraphy and carrier pigeons. The Reuter's Telegram Company was later launched. The company initially covered commercial news, serving banks, brokerage houses, and business firms.

The first newspaper client to subscribe was the London Morning Advertiser in 1858. Newspaper subscriptions subsequently expanded.

Over the years Reuter's agency has built a reputation in Europe and the rest of the world as the first to report news scoops from abroad. Reuters was the first to report Abraham Lincoln's assassination, for instance. Almost every major news outlet in the world currently subscribes to Reuters. Reuters operates in more than 200 cities in 94 countries in about 20 languages.

The last surviving member of the Reuters family founders, Marguerite Baroness de Reuter, died at age 96 on 25 January 2009, after having suffered a series of strokes.

Controversy: Policy of Objective Language

Reuters has a policy of taking a "value-neutral approach," which extends to not using the word "terrorist" in its stories, a practice which has attracted criticism following the September 11 attacks.  Reuters' editorial policy states: "We are committed to reporting the facts and in all situations avoid the use of emotive terms. The only exception is when we are quoting someone directly or in indirect speech.  (The Associated Press, by contrast, does use the term "terrorist" in reference to non-governmental organizations who carry out attacks on civilian populations.)

Following the September 11 attacks, Reuters global head of news Stephen Jukes reiterated the policy in an internal memo and later explained to media columnist Howard Kurtz (who criticized the policy): "We all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist...We're trying to treat everyone on a level playing field, however tragic it's been and however awful and cataclysmic for the American people and people around the world. We're there to tell the story. We're not there to evaluate the moral case."

In early October 2001, CEO Tom Glocer and editor-in-chief Geert Linnebank and Jukes later released a statement acknowledging that Jukes' memo "had caused deep offence among members of our staff, our readers, and the public at large" and wrote: "Our policy is to avoid the use of emotional terms and not make value judgments concerning the facts we attempt to report accurately and fairly. We apologize for the insensitive manner in which we characterized this policy and extend our sympathy to all those who have been effected by these tragic events."

In September 2004, the New York Times  reported that Reuters global managing editor, David A. Schlesinger objected to Canadian newspapers' editing of Reuters articles to insert the word terrorist. Schlesinger said: "my goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity."

Controversy: Climate Change Reporiting

In July 2013, David Fogarty, former Reuters climate change correspondent in Asia, resigned after a career of almost 20 years with the company and wrote about a "climate of fear" which resulted in "progressively, getting any climate change-themed story published got harder" following comments from then deputy editor-in-chief Paul Ingrassia that he was a "climate change sceptic." In his comments, Fogarty stated that "Some desk editors happily subbed and pushed the button. Others agonised and asked a million questions. Debate on some story ideas generated endless bureaucracy by editors frightened to take a decision, reflecting a different type of climate within Reuters—the climate of fear," and that "by mid-October, I was informed that climate change just wasn't a big story for the present. ... Very soon after that conversation I was told my climate change role was abolished." Ingrassia, currently Reuters' managing editor, formerly worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones for 31 years. Reuters responded to Fogarty's piece by stating that "Reuters has a number of staff dedicated to covering this story, including a team of specialist reporters at Point Carbon and a columnist. There has been no change in our editorial policy."

Subsequently climate blogger Joe Romm cited a Reuters article on climate as employing "false balance," and quoted Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, Co-Chair of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute that "[s]imply, a lot of unrelated climate skeptics nonsense has been added to this Reuters piece. In the words of the late Steve Schneider, this is like adding some nonsense from the Flat Earth Society to a report about the latest generation of telecommunication satellites. It is absurd." Romm opined that "We can't know for certain who insisted on cramming this absurd and non-germane 'climate sceptics nonsense' into the piece, but we have a strong clue. If it had been part of the reporter's original reporting, you would have expected direct quotes from actual skeptics, because that is journalism 101.  The fact that the blather was all inserted without attribution [without citing source] suggests it was added at the insistence of an editor."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bridges That Last Forever

Indestructible Bridges May Become a Reality

University of Warwick -- A new generation of indestructible bridges could be possible, thanks to research from the University of Warwick.

Emeritus Professor Wanda Lewis in the School of Engineering has taken a design process called ‘form-finding’, inspired by the natural world, to another level

Form-finding enables the design of rigid structures that follow a strong natural form – structures that are sustained by a force of pure compression or tension, with no bending stresses, which are the main points of weakness in other structures.

This could, for the first time, lead to the design of bridges and buildings that can take any combination of permanent loading without generating complex stresses.

Such structures will have enhanced safety, and long durability, without the need for repair or restructuring.

For 25 years Professor Lewis has been studying forms and shapes in nature: the outlines of a tree or a leaf, the curve of a shell, the way a film of soap can suspend itself between chosen boundaries. In all of these natural objects, Professor Lewis observed that they develop simple stress patterns, which help them to withstand forces applied to them (such as wind hitting a tree) with ease.

Professor Lewis has been developing mathematical models that implement nature’s design principles and produce simple stress patterns in structures. The principles behind her mathematical models are illustrated using physical form-finding experiments involving pieces of fabric or chains, for example.

A piece of fabric is suspended, and allowed to relax into its natural, gravitational, minimum energy shape; then that shape is frozen into a rigid object and inverted. She finds the coordinates of this shape through computation by simulating the gravitational forces applied to the structure. This produces a shape (a natural form) that can withstand the load with ease.

Professor Lewis argues that “nature’s design principles cannot be matched by conventional engineering design.”

While classical architectural designs are appealing to the eye, they aren’t necessarily structurally sound: “aesthetics is an important aspect of any design, and we have been programmed to view some shapes, such as circular arches or spherical domes as aesthetic. We often build them regardless of the fact that they generate complex stresses, and are, therefore, structurally inefficient,” says Professor Lewis.

The question of how to build the optimal arch has been argued through history. In the seventeenth century, Robert Hook demonstrated to the Royal Society that the ideal shape of a bridge arch is that resembling the line of an upside down chain line - the catenary form. The only other form proposed by classical theory is the inverted parabola. Each of these shapes can only take a specific type of load without developing complex stresses, which are points of weakness. Professor Lewis’ pioneering ‘form-finding’ process fills the gap in classical theory, offering a new mathematical solution in the pursuit of the optimal arch subjected to general loading.

The work on discovering the optimal arch has been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society part A:

Friday, July 15, 2016

Double Agent Inspired Fleming's James Bond

James Bond has nothing on British double agent Dusko Popov.  As an operative for the Abwehr, SD, MI5, MI6, and FBI during World War II, Popov seduced countless women―including agents on both sides―spoke five languages, and was a crack shot, all while maintaining his cover as a Yugoslav diplomat...
On a cool August evening in 1941, a Serbian playboy created a stir at Casino Estoril in Portugal by throwing down an outrageously large baccarat bet to humiliate his opponent. The Serbian was a British double agent, and the money―which he had just stolen from the Germans―belonged to the British. From the sideline, watching with intent interest was none other than Ian Fleming...

The Serbian was Dusko Popov. As a youngster, he was expelled from his London prep school. Years later he would be arrested and banished from Germany for making derogatory statements about the Third Reich. When World War II ensued, the playboy became a spy, eventually serving three dangerous masters: the Abwehr, MI5 and MI6, and the FBI.

On August 10, 1941, the Germans sent Popov to the United States to construct a spy network and gather information on Pearl Harbor. The FBI ignored his German questionnaire, but J. Edgar Hoover succeeded in blowing his cover. While MI5 desperately needed Popov to deceive the Abwehr about the D-Day invasion, they assured him that a return to the German Secret Service Headquarters in Lisbon would result in torture and execution. He went anyway... 

Into the Lion's Mouth is a globe-trotting account of a man's entanglement with espionage, murder, assassins, and lovers―including enemy spies and a Hollywood starlet. It is a story of subterfuge and seduction, patriotism, and cold-blooded courage. It is the story of Dusko Popov―the inspiration for James Bond.

Amazon customer review

5 Stars
By Mark Sessums on July 7, 2016

Into the Lion's Mouth takes you into the catbird seat of Dusko Popov's life and spy intrigue. You will think you are his British handler. Superbly researched and laid out. Larry Loftis is a master of the craft of historical narrative. A must read for WWII history buffs. The impact of Popov was pivotal in the war and the difference he and other spies made (or could have made) is under appreciated. Thousands of lives saved. I was enthralled.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Chaos Is Analogous to Quantum Entanglement

Entanglement : Chaos
Researchers at UCSB blur the line between classical and
quantum physics by connecting chaos and entanglement
By Sonia Fernandez, University of California Santa Barbara

Monday, July 11, 2016 -- Using a small quantum system consisting of three superconducting qubits, researchers at UC Santa Barbara and Google have uncovered a link between aspects of classical and quantum physics thought to be unrelated: classical chaos and quantum entanglement. Their findings suggest that it would be possible to use controllable quantum systems to investigate certain fundamental aspects of nature.

“It’s kind of surprising because chaos is this totally classical concept — there’s no idea of chaos in a quantum system,” Charles Neill, a researcher in the UCSB Department of Physics and lead author of a paper that appears in Nature Physics. “Similarly, there’s no concept of entanglement within classical systems. And yet it turns out that chaos and entanglement are really very strongly and clearly related.”

Initiated in the 15th century, classical physics generally examines and describes systems larger than atoms and molecules. It consists of hundreds of years’ worth of study including Newton’s laws of motion, electrodynamics, relativity, thermodynamics as well as chaos theory — the field that studies the behavior of highly sensitive and unpredictable systems. One classic example of a chaotic system is the weather, in which a relatively small change in one part of the system is enough to foil predictions — and vacation plans — anywhere on the globe.

At smaller size and length scales in nature, however, such as those involving atoms and photons and their behaviors, classical physics falls short. In the early 20th century quantum physics emerged, with its seemingly counterintuitive and sometimes controversial science, including the notions of superposition (the theory that a particle can be located in several places at once) and entanglement (particles that are deeply linked behave as such despite physical distance from one another).

And so began the continuing search for connections between the two fields.

All systems are fundamentally quantum systems, according Neill, but the means of describing in a quantum sense the chaotic behavior of, say, air molecules in an evacuated room, remains limited.

Imagine taking a balloon full of air molecules, somehow tagging them so you could see them and then releasing them into a room with no air molecules, noted co-author and UCSB/Google researcher Pedram Roushan. One possible outcome is that the air molecules remain clumped together in a little cloud following the same trajectory around the room. And yet, he continued, as we can probably intuit, the molecules will more likely take off in a variety of velocities and directions, bouncing off walls and interacting with each other, resting after the room is sufficiently saturated with them.

“The underlying physics is chaos, essentially,” he said. The molecules coming to rest — at least on the macroscopic level — is the result of thermalization, or of reaching equilibrium after they have achieved uniform saturation within the system. But in the infinitesimal world of quantum physics, there is still little to describe that behavior. The mathematics of quantum mechanics, Roushan said, do not allow for the chaos described by Newtonian laws of motion.

To investigate, the researchers at UCSB physics professor John Martinis' lab devised an experiment using three quantum bits, the basic computational units of the quantum computer. Unlike classical computer bits, which utilize a binary system of two possible states (e.g., zero/one), a qubit can also use a superposition of both states (zero and one) as a single state. Additionally, multiple qubits can entangle, or link so closely that their measurements will automatically correlate. By manipulating these qubits with electronic pulses, Neill caused them to interact, rotate and evolve in the quantum analog of a highly sensitive classical system.

The result is a map of entanglement entropy of a qubit that, over time, comes to strongly resemble that of classical dynamics — the regions of entanglement in the quantum map resemble the regions of chaos on the classical map. The islands of low entanglement in the quantum map are located in the places of low chaos on the classical map.

“There’s a very clear connection between entanglement and chaos in these two pictures,” said Neill. “And, it turns out that thermalization is the thing that connects chaos and entanglement. It turns out that they are actually the driving forces behind thermalization.

“What we realize is that in almost any quantum system, including on quantum computers, if you just let it evolve and you start to study what happens as a function of time, it’s going to thermalize,” added Neill, referring to the quantum-level equilibration. “And this really ties together the intuition between classical thermalization and chaos and how it occurs in quantum systems that entangle.”

The study’s findings have fundamental implications for quantum computing. At the level of three qubits, the computation is relatively simple, said Roushan, but as researchers push to build increasingly sophisticated and powerful quantum computers that incorporate more qubits to study highly complex problems that are beyond the ability of classical computing — such as those in the realms of machine learning, artificial intelligence, fluid dynamics or chemistry — a quantum processor optimized for such calculations will be a very powerful tool.

“It means we can study things that are completely impossible to study right now, once we get to bigger systems,” said Neill.